Sohaila Abdulali was born in Mumbai, India. She has a BA from Brandeis University in Economics and Sociology, and an MA from Stanford University in Communication.
She has written and edited a crazy-quilt assortment of material, and worked on communication strategy and materials with clients including the First Lady of the City of New York, Oxfam, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, Sesame Workshop International, and United We Dream. She writes and edits grants, annual reports, web copy, op-eds, blogs and articles. Her January 2013 op-ed in the New York Times broke readership records.
As soon as she graduated from college, Sohaila coordinated the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center for two years. She worked as a journalist in Philadelphia, Boston and Bombay. She had various odd jobs - working in an independent bookstore, conducting sleep research in a psychiatric hospital, scooping ice cream, working as an industrial spy, ghostwriting, temping, teaching undergraduate courses, and whatever else she could find to pay the bills.
She won two Ford Foundation grants. The first was to research, produce and distribute three children's books on women's health in India. The results, the RangBibi and Langra series, were sold in four languages. The second grant was to write a book about aboriginal people in Western India. The book is called Bye Bye Mati: A Memoir in a Monsoon Landscape.
Sohaila has done a great deal of public speaking and teaching. In Boston, she spoke at hospitals, schools and many other institutions about sexual assault. When she worked for Oxfam, she spoke in public about issues such as poverty, the environment and women's rights. She has appeared on broadcast television in the US and India and on the BBC in England. She was a guest speaker at Clark University in Massachusetts, Northwestern University in Chicago, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among others. In 2004 and 2008, she was an adjunct professor at New York University, teaching South Asian Civilization to undergraduates.
Sohaila's writing has been published in India, the US, England, South Africa and Canada. She is a founding board member of Point of View, a women's media group in Mumbai, India. She continues to write and publish both fiction and non-fiction. She lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with her family.